BOISE, IDAHO--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - U.S. Geothermal Inc. (TSX:GTH)(NYSE MKT:HTM), a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, is pleased to provide an update on its 100% owned San Emidio Project near Reno, Nevada. The new power plant output rating has now been increased from 8.6 to 9.0 net annual average megawatts based upon results of final capacity testing.
Since achieving commercial operation in May 2012, the plant has been producing and the project has been selling electrical power. Since then, several scheduled outages have occurred to allow the engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") contractor time to work on a punch list of items required for final completion under the fixed price EPC agreement. The EPC contract includes financial guarantees by the contractor tied to the original construction price and completion date of the plant.
The plant is now operating smoothly and has averaged an output of 9.47 net (12.47 gross) megawatts per hour during November month-to-date. Including the completion of performance testing, the plant has been operating continuously for the past 31 days. The company's wholly-owned subsidiary, USG Nevada LLC, accepted operational custody of the plant on November 10th. The EPC contractor is nearing final EPC contract completion.
Mr. Daniel Kunz, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Geothermal Inc., said, "Our management team has taken care, custody and control of the San Emidio geothermal power plant as we work to close out the EPC contract. The plant is exceeding our initial expectations for electrical output and demonstrates a substantial increase in efficiency, compared to the older plant we replaced, in utilization of the proven reservoir and existing well field."
A construction loan provided by the EPC contractor will be repaid with a 25-year project loan provided by a premier financial services company. The project loan is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2012 and will provide low cost, long term financing.
Electrical energy from the new power plant is being sold for $89.75 per megawatt hour ("MWH"), subject to a 1% annual escalator, under the terms of a 25-year power purchase agreement with Sierra Pacific Power Company. Using the existing production and injection wells, the new San Emidio plant is projected to generate an average of approximately 75,000 MWHs of electrical power each year and replaces an existing facility that, prior to being removed from service, generated approximately 23,000 MWHs annually for some 20 years.
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About U.S. Geothermal Inc.:
U.S. Geothermal Inc. is a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy and is operating geothermal power projects at Raft River, Idaho and San Emidio, Nevada. The Neal Hot Springs, Oregon project, which is currently undergoing startup, is the company's third operating power project. The company holds geothermal energy rights to 69,500 acres comprising six advanced stage geothermal development projects. The San Emidio project is in the final stages of contractor close-out and is currently producing power from a new 9 net MW binary cycle power plant.
The information provided in this news release may contain forward-looking statements within the definition of the Safe Harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on U.S. Geothermal Inc.'s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those described including but not limited to the results from the ongoing operation of the San Emidio power plant. Readers are cautioned to review the risk factors identified by the company in its filings with Canadian and US securities agencies. Forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations, beliefs and opinions on the date the statements are made. U.S. Geothermal Inc. assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if management's expectations, beliefs, or opinions, or other factors, should change.
The NYSE MKT and the TSX do not accept responsibility for the adequacy of this release.